An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
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  • Vestibule

    I sometimes wish I could find Cindy
    to thank her for agreeing with my fine idea
    that we sneak into the university chapel
    late one night in 1983 to make love.
    I don't just want to thank her for giving me
    the trump card — "house of worship" —
    I hold in every stupid party game that begins,
    "Where's the strangest place you've ever . . . ?"
    No, I want to thank her for the truth of it.
    For knowing that the heart is holy even when
    our own hearts were so frail and callow.
    Truth: it was 1983; we were nineteen years old;
    we lay below the altar and preached a quiet sermon
    not just on the divinity of skin, but on the grace
    of the heart beneath. It was the only homily
    we knew, and our souls were beatified.
    And if you say sentiment and cliché, then that
    is what you say. What I know is what is sacred.
    Lord of this other world, let me recall that night.
    Let me again hear how our whispered exclamations
    near the end seemed like rising hymnal rhythm,
    and let me feel how those forgotten words came
    from somewhere else and meant something.
    Something, if only to the single moth
    that, in the darkened air of that chapel,
    fluttered its dusty wings around our heads.

     

    Published in The Boatloads (2008)

    Published: 24 November 2008
    © 2008 Dan Albergotti and Southern Spaces